Bike Walk RVA Update, Summer 2021: New Murals, New Laws, New Ways to Get Involved
By: Brantley Tyndall, Bike Walk RVA Director of Outreach
As we make it through the dog days of summer, let’s catch up on biking and walking updates from over the summer and look ahead to an exciting fall in our August quarterly newsletter.
In July, Bike Walk RVA helped organize and lead an exploratory hike of the Fall Line trail with Governor Ralph Northam’s Chief of Staff Clark Mercer. It was an awesome couple of days to introduce the publicly-accessible sections of the Fall Line alignment to an excellent group of leaders and partners in the region and state. Joining at various points along the way were U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and his wife, former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Virginia House of Delegates members Lashrecse Aird and Lamont Bagby, Faye Pritchard of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors, Ashland Vice Mayor John Hodges, and Deputy Secretaries of Transportation Nick Donohue and John Lawson. It was also great to be joined by our friends at the following organizations:
- Dominion Energy
- Friends of the Lower Appomattox River
- Virginia Capital Trail Foundation
- Cameron Foundation
- BridgePark Foundation
- Staff members from Henrico County
The hike was paired with the release of a new video of last fall’s exploration. You can see that video here.
We continue to work regularly with VDOT, PlanRVA, and the localities in our region to support the development of the Fall Line, so stay tuned for more news soon!
New State Laws Include Change Lanes to Pass
New bike safety laws are now in effect as of July 1: motorists are now required to fully change lanes when passing bicyclists, and bicyclists are now permitted to ride two abreast. Just remember, giving riders more space is the best thing you can do to improve safety, both real and perceived. And riders’ ability to stay more tightly grouped will help with visibility and passing more expeditiously. Spread the word!
A number of planning efforts are underway across the region, and it is your time to get involved! The City of Richmond just finished the second round of its bike lane development survey, Plan RVA is seeking feedback for the regional Connect RVA 2045 long range plan, and the City of Richmond’s Office of Equitable Transportation and Mobility is working on the update to Richmond Connects.
RVA Bike Month returns – in October!
For the first time, RVA Bike Month will be in October this year. We will take advantage of cooler temps, autumn colors, and excitement for the Fall Line and the newly passed bike laws to get thousands of folks around the region out and riding in dozens of local events to celebrate bikes, community, local businesses, and more.
Stay tuned at www.rvabikemonth.com for all the event details – more information about the calendar, our partners, and ways to get involved should be released by mid-September. One event you can definitely look forward to is the Virginia Credit Union Moonlight Ride on October 2. Registration is now open at www.sportsbackers.org, and Bike Walk RVA is the official event charity partner for this year’s ride.
Safe Street Murals
We worked with our partners at Groundwork RVA, VCU RamBikes, and Greater Richmond Fit4Kids to paint colorful and positive street safety murals in the Bellemeade community of south Richmond in a grant partnership with AARP’s Livable Communities program. Check them out!
Volunteers needed for Bike/Ped counts – September 14-16!
In partnership with the Richmond and Henrico Health District, our biannual bike/ped counts return in September. Sign up for a shift (or several), and get a friend to join. This program helps us track changes in biking and walking trends and demonstrates that people really care about active transportation!
Cooler weather is coming, and we can’t wait to ride bikes and chill all autumn long.
Director of Outreach
Bike Walk RVA